Recently, a local primary school made a donation to Mama Agnes in honor of Nelson Mandela day. (Mama Agnes is one of the ladies that we work with in the community. She helps feed between 80 and 100 orphaned and vulnerable children every day from her home.)
Every child in the school brought food or toiletries to donate to Mama Agnes and the needy children that she looks out for.
The donated items
The school was celebrating Mandela day. Every year South Africans celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday by encouraging people to participate in community service for 67 minutes in honor of Mandela’s 67 years of fighting for social justice. I think that it's remarkable that Nelson Mandela did not want his birthday celebrated as a national holiday; instead he wanted it marked by service to others. Mandela is truly an extraordinary man.
The school children at the assembly
I thought that I was just there to drive Mama Agnes and to help her transport all the donations back to her house. When we arrived we were escorted in front of 1,500 students waiting patiently in the hot sun for the presentation to begin.
Mama Agnes, myself, Rebecca (another missionary we work with), and my two oldest kids, Madison and Kyler, were brought to the front of the school assembly and asked to sit in the seats of honor for the presentation. For Madison, Kyler, Rebecca, and myself, it was a little awkward to be in front of all the students. We aren’t heroes, Mama Agnes is. I was just there to provide transportation.
Kyler and Madison at the assembly
Rebecca and Agnes at the assembly
The school administrators and Agnes
It was great to see Mama Agnes honored with several speeches and songs from the choir.
There were enough donations to completely fill my SUV and another pickup truck. We took the food to Agnes’ house and completely filled her living room. She was able to make little parcels to give out to all the children that she looks out for.
Part of the donation was canned meat that she fed to the kids the next day. The kids were in an unusually happy and energetic mood, singing and dancing as they started their walk home. Agnes told me, “The kids are happy because they ate meat today.”